Tea Snobbery and Classism

Tea Snobbery and Classism

Being a tea snob against other tea drinkers is inherently classist

I'm coming to the conclusion that being a snob towards grocery store tea drinkers is inherently unfair towards the working class.

I take it for granted that in order to get good tea, I need to order loose leaf online from specific suppliers that I have spent years vetting out. For a normal busy person, finding the best teas takes time and inconveniences that they might not have the space to have in their schedule. Thus, to be rude about what tea someone drinks is inherently classist.

If you have to be a snob, be snobby towards the tea, not the person. If the best tea a blue collar person can find in the grocery store they barely have time to shop in is bagged, be glad they are at least drinking tea. If they can plan ahead to account for shipping, they can drink finer teas. Good tea should be accessible to everyone regardless of their income bracket and the hours that they work. Good tea is an important part of a healthy and fulfilling life in my opinion. It's like basic necessities, people deserve to be able to access them.

It's easy to gatekeep fine teas because many experienced tea drinkers build an identity around their prowess. It can be difficult to make room for people who do not understand the differences in tea that seem second nature to us. But inclusion is how we build a strong community and teach others about the wonders of fine tea. Someone who hasn't had loose leaf tea may never experience it if they are mocked for drinking bagged tea. Getting defensive and shutting others out is a natural response and needs to be considered when engaging in tea education.

It’s important to separate the tea from the people. You are not the tea you drink. It can be difficult to separate the two at times because when someone attacks a tea you enjoy, you yourself often feel attacked. I’ve often felt this way.

The biggest reason this seems to happen in the community is because veteran tea drinkers attack the drinker of the tea instead of the tea. They make judgements about one’s character when they do or do not drink certain teas. The tea one chooses to drink tends to be deeply personal and is literally a representation of their taste. People pride themselves in their tastes and it can become the avatar of their hobby and character. But this is a dangerous attitude since it leads to being tied to objects that should not define you. You end up lacking the freedom to experience life and remain objective about the things you love. This makes it harder to enjoy new things. This is essentially the same thing as brand loyalty, which inherently limits the things you can enjoy.

One should try all teas and be open to loving any tea that suits their fancy. They should be open to the dynamic change that can occur in their palate as their history shapes their experience. Tea should be about love, acceptance, and trying new things. One cannot do this when they tie themselves to an object.

Do not let your love be the shackles that prevent you from growing and changing.

I think I want to either make or link guides for where to buy specific teas online so that people don't have to spend as long finding good tea. They have something similar on the r/tea Reddit.